Our nurse Vikki shares dog grooming advice every owner needs

January 14, 2023


Vikki started in veterinary nursing in 1998 and then left to join the NHS. She returned to veterinary nursing in 2007 and qualified in 2010. Vikki enjoys running nurse consults and is one of our experienced consulting nurses. Vikki has a keen interest in nutrition, canine reproduction and weight management. She completed her certificate in Canine and Feline Veterinary Health Nutrition and became an Advanced Pet Health Counsellor in 2015 and gained a certificate in feline nursing in 2019. Vikki lives with her husband, son and three dogs (Keeshonds) whom she enjoys showing and has even entered Crufts a few times. In her spare time she enjoys crafting, reading, and baking

According to our nurse Vikki, grooming is great for your dog in many ways. Not only does grooming promote health in a variety of factors, it also helps to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Vikki has kindly shared the benefits of dog grooming below along with recommendations for different breeds and coat types. Have a read and see how a daily dog grooming routine is well worth your time!

Remember, if you have any queries on grooming, equipment, or your dog’s specific requirements, book an appointment with our vet nurses who can help.

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Why should you groom your dog?

Our vet nurses advise that daily grooming will help you keep on top of your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. It will help you spot any areas for potential concern such as suspicious lumps and bumps, bald patches, flaky skin, or sores. You might also spot any pesky fleas or ticks nestled in the fur.

Grooming also promotes skin health; the motion of body brushing helping to increase circulation and promote natural oil production in the skin. This will, in turn, make your dog’s coat much healthier and naturally glossy.

Some long-haired dogs will also be prone to matting, especially after muddy winter walks in Wiltshire and Somerset and beyond. Daily grooming helps to remove these as soon as they start to knot, avoiding nasty and sometimes painful clumps.

Which dogs need grooming?

All dogs need grooming, according to Vikki!

  • Dogs with thick coats benefit from daily brushing as they accumulate a lot of loose, dead hair and are prone to matting and collecting dirt and debris in their coat. Brushing helps to cleanse the coat and keep it healthy.
  • Dogs with short, shedding coats such as beagles and dachshunds, won’t need the amount of grooming that a husky would need, but daily attention to their coat is still important for general wellbeing and to help you spot any potential problems.
  • Dogs with wire coats like border terriers may not need day-to-day maintenance like other dogs, but regular brushing will help de-matt the fur and remove any debris or dead hairs resting on the skin. A brush made up of thin wires angled away from the skin is best. With these dogs, it’s wise to visit a professional groomer every few months for a hand strip; although they can be clipped, hand stripping is typically a gentle practice and preserves the health and condition of the coat. Our team may have recommendations of dog groomers in Wiltshire and Somerset, so do ask us!
  • Dogs with wool-like coats such as cockapoos and poodles are often viewed as low maintenance from a grooming perspective because they shed less, if at all. However, these coats can get extremely matted very easily and need daily brushing to remove any slight build-up of knots. These dogs do benefit from professional clipping regularly as well.
  • Grooming silky coats, like spaniels, can be tricky as their feathering, chest, and ears need daily brushing to keep matting away and the coat healthy and beautiful. The overall body coat also benefits from daily brushing but can be clipped either at home or professionally.
  • Finally, dogs with double coats like retrievers and sheepdogs need daily brushing to keep tangles at bay. The difference with these dogs is that they should not be clipped unless specified by a veterinary professional.

More benefits of dog grooming

As we’ve discussed, there are benefits for all types of coats but it doesn’t stop there. Garston Vets’ nurses also advise that daily grooming helps you check your dog’s teeth, eyes, ears, and paws for any potential issues. You can look for anything lurking in the fur too like fleas and ticks, and you may notice unpleasant smells (usually in the mouth or ears) that indicate a problem.

Plus, research has found that grooming pets can have a calming and de-stressing effect on humans – so, grooming your dog is actually good for your health too!

If, while grooming your dog you come across anything that you think may be cause for concern, please don’t hesitate to call us for advice on 01373 452225 – you can find the rest of our contact details online.

If you would like to know more about grooming techniques and the kit most suited to your dog, our veterinary nurses are always happy to offer suggestions.

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